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La théorie autrichienne des cycles : une théorie de la récurrence des erreurs collectives d’anticipation

  • Facchini, François


This paper offers an account of recent developments of Austrian Trade Cycle Theory. It focus on the theoretical contributions and argues that the Austrian Trade Cycle Theory became a theory of error cycles. Austrian economists agree to explain the errors of individuals by the nationalization of money because it leads an excess of money supply. Nevertheless, they disagree about the causes of this excess. Two explanations have been suggested. The first one measures the excess in relation with the demand of money. The second one evaluates the excess in relation with monetary saving. They agree, on the contrary, on the reasons of the recurrence of expectation errors and their uniformity. The theory of property rights explains the recurrence of expectation errors by the socialization of risk. The theory of cognitive expectations explains the collective errors by the centralisation of expectation process around (big player hypothesis) decisions of central banks. In fine it is the centralization of expectation process which explains the instability of market process. Cet article présente les développements récents de la théorie autrichienne des cycles. Il se concentre sur les apports théoriques et soutient que désormais la théorie autrichienne des cycles est une théorie plurielle de la récurrence des erreurs collectives d’anticipation. Les économistes autrichiens s’accordent pour penser que la nationalisation de la monnaie est à l’origine de l’excès d’offre de monnaie. Cet excès crée une distorsion de la structure des taux d’intérêt des prêts et induit la phase de récession du cycle. Ils s’entendent aussi sur les raisons de la récurrence des erreurs d’anticipation et sur leur uniformité. La théorie des droits de propriété explique la récurrence des erreurs d’anticipation par la socialisation des risques. La théorie des anticipations explique les erreurs collectives par la centralisation des anticipations autour des décisions de la banque centrale. Elle rend ainsi compte de l’instabilité des systèmes économiques. Les économistes autrichiens sont divisés, en revanche, sur les raisons de cet excès d’offre de monnaie. Il y a ceux qui soutiennent que cet excès d’offre se mesure par rapport à l’épargne monétaire et s’explique par la pratique des réserves fractionnaires (école de la libre circulation). Il y a ceux, au contraire, qui estiment que cet excès doit être mesuré par rapport à la demande de monnaie et expliqué par l’absence de concurrence entre les monnaies (école de la banque libre).

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 80 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (Mars)
Pages: 67-94

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:80:y:2004:i:1:p:67-94
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